U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced nearly $7 million in funding for Oswego and Little Sodus Bay Harbors as a part of the recently passed bipartisan omnibus spending package for Fiscal Year 2022. Specifically, the senators said that $5,900,000 will go to repairs to Oswego Harbor’s West Arrowhead Breakwater and fixing Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse, and $1,000,000 to dredge Little Sodus Bay Harbor.
“With this funding in hand Oswego & Little Sodus Bay Harbors are ready to set sail on these critical repairs to preserve the long term stability of these critical economic engines,” said Senator Schumer. “In tandem with the significant funding I worked to secure through the bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law, I say it is full steam ahead for Oswego Harbor & Little Sodus Bay and I will continue to fight tooth and nail to bring home the federal support to keep our channels bustling, trade flowing and shores protected.”
“This is a long-overdue investment in Oswego and Little Sodus Bay Harbors,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding will finance critical infrastructure upgrades and help support robust trade and tourism in the region. I’m proud to have fought to secure this funding and I’ll keep fighting to bring federal funding home to New York.”
In regards to Oswego Harbor, the $5.9 million delivered by the senators will prevent accelerating damage to the West Arrowhead Breakwater which requires significant repairs due to deteriorated sections from exposure to both wave action and ice damage. The Oswego Harbor is a major receiving port on the Great Lakes responsible for the global trade of commodities that support the Central New York’s agriculture and manufacturing sectors. The West Arrowhead Breakwater protects the harbors primary channel which allows for safe navigation between Oswego Harbor and Lake Ontario. In addition, in the area of repair will also go to protecting the historic Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The $1 million for Little Sodus Bay Harbor will support critical dredging of sediment build up in the harbor to ensure the continued safe passage of boats through its navigation channels. The senators explained that built-up sediment and debris can severely inhibit water transportation along the bay, which if goes unchecked would pose a serious risk to the tourism economy and wildlife in the region. This funding comes on the heels of Schumer and Gillibrand delivering $10,000,000 to Little Sodus Bay for repairs the West Pier and West Barrier Bar as a part of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA), which included over $17 billion in Army Corps of Engineers funding. In 2019, Lake Ontario’s water levels broke the previous record hitting 248.98 feet above sea level. Senator Schumer toured the Village of Fair Haven flood damaged communities then and promised to secure robust investment to address the backlog of repairs to restore flood protections. Today’s announcement in tandem with IIJA continues a long pattern of advocacy to protect the property, residents, businesses and tourism economy of shoreline communities like the Village of Fair Haven and other throughout Upstate New York.